NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An FDNY emergency medical technician placed a false 911 call that misdirected nearly a dozen first responders, the city Department of Investigation alleged Friday.
William Medina, 27, of Manhattan, was charged with falsifying business records, obstructing governmental administration, and falsely reporting an incident, according to the DOI.
On Aug. 19, Medina had just completed a patient transport in Queens when his unit was dispatched to Brooklyn to respond to a sick child with a possible high fever, according to the DOI.
Medina allegedly got on a payphone and called in an imaginary emergency – claiming that there was a man who was not breathing and might be dead at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, the DOI alleged.
The cardiac arrest call that Medina allegedly fabricated was considered a higher priority than the sick child call, but his unit was not reassigned, the DOI said. He was asked keep going on to Brooklyn and was flagged down on the way for another sick person in Queens, the DOI said.
Another unit ultimately responded to the sick child in Brooklyn, the DOI said. But the phony cardiac arrest call resulted in its own response – with two ambulances, a fire truck, and a police vehicle, the DOI said.
But the emergency personnel did not find any man in distress at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, the DOI said.
Investigators reviewed GPS records from Medina’s ambulances, interviewed witnesses, and examined area security video, the DOI said. The video showed Medina getting out of his ambulance and approaching a pay phone when the 911 call was placed, the DOI said.
“Fabricating a high-priority emergency call is a crime that diminishes resources available to respond to other serious calls,” DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said in a news release. “As charged, this defendant selfishly created a crisis and undermined public safety as a result.”
Medina began working as an FDNY EMT in October 2014. He resigned in August during the investigation, the DOI said.
He was arraigned late Tuesday and released on a recognizance bond.